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Greensboro Gymnastics Invitational Qualifies NS Gymnast to Compete in Nastia Liukin Cup for the Four

North Stars gymnast, Rachael Lukacs, described competing in and winning the all-around at the Nastia Liukin Cup last year as “an incredible experience.” This past weekend, at the Greensboro Gymnastics Invitational (GGI), Lukacs was awarded a spot to compete in the Cup again this year.GGI was held on February 10-12, 2017 at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex in Greensboro, North Carolina. The meet was hosted by Flip Force Booster Club and Flip Force Gymnastics. This year was the eighth annual hosting of the invitational and the second year that North Stars had participated in the meet. The meet consists of women’s gymnastics, as well as, men’s gymnastics, tumbling and trampoline performances. Being an official Nastia Liukin Cup Series invitational since 2014, GGI has grown to be the largest gymnastics invitational in North Carolina.On Saturday afternoon, nine Level 10 gymnasts from North Stars competed in the meet. These gymnasts were Stephanie Tripodi, Olivia Raymond, Sophia Restaino, Ava Caravela, Simone Banen, Stephanie Tripodi, Ellen (Ellie) Wylie, Yolanda Nodarse, Rachel Kaplan, and Rachael Lukacs. As a result of their powerhouse performances, North Stars held the highest team score for Level 10, edging out Southeastern Gymnastics who beat North Stars in the Sand Dollar Invitational just last weekend. Individually, Lukacs, Raymond, Kaplan, Nodarse and Restaino all placed in the top-3 all around for their age group, with Raymond and Lukacs being named the all-around champions. Based on her performance and scores in the 16 and older age group, Lukacs qualified both last year and this year through GGI to compete in the Nastia Liukin Cup.The Nastia Liukin Cup is a prestigious meet that honors top Level 10 gymnasts in the nation. Competing gymnasts in the Cup are chosen from a series of invitationals known as the Nastia Liukin Cup Series. Every year, the event is held the evening prior to the American Cup on the same podium. Gymnasts who qualify to compete in the Nastia Liukin Cup receive two tickets to the American Cup and recognition during the event, as well as, a leotard designed by Nastia Liukin and the opportunity to meet her in person. The Nastia Liukin Cup will be held at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ on March 3, 2017.This will be Lukacs’ fourth consecutive year competing in the Cup, and so far, she is the only gymnast to represent North Stars in the meet. However, the Level 10’s will compete in the Excalibur Cup this weekend in Virginia Beach, Virginia, which is part of the Nastia Liukin Cup Series and will provide the opportunity for eligible gymnasts under 15 years of age to qualify.To prepare for the Cup, Lukacs explained that she will continue to practice her routines and work on perfecting the small details. “I want to gain more confidence in myself and my skills for the meet, and just go out there and enjoy it,” said Lukacs.

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